Learning how to use crutches
Crutches may seem simple to use, but the idea of using them all day can quickly become daunting when an injury forces you to rely on them.
Learning how to use crutches is key to maintaining some normalcy in your life while recovering from an injury.
Being on crutches may limit your mobility, but it shouldn’t impede you from doing anything. With a bit of practice, you can continue your regular routines, go up and down stairs and feel safe while maneuvering.
Remember, when learning how to use crutches, practice is the best technique for mastery. You can use the steps in this article to help you refine your technique for using crutches. Click here if you’re looking for how to use crutches on stairs.
This Is How You Use Forearm Crutches
1 – The first step is to have someone help you adjust your crutches to your body size.
While adjusting the length of your crutches, wear shoes that you would usually wear so you can get a good idea of how long to get your crutches.
2 – To start adjusting, stand normally and hold your arms so that your wrists are level with your hips. Your elbow will be bent at around a 30-degree angle in this position.
The handle of the crutch should be level with your wrist while your arms are bent.
When learning how to use crutches, a proper fit is crucial to making the experience as natural as possible. If you have to stretch your arms to reach the handle, then your safety and balance are at risk.
3 – Now that you have your crutches properly adjusted, it’s time to get used to moving.
If you’re using a crutch with a cuff, the open end should be facing away from your body. The cuff should align with the thickest part of your forearm. Grip the handles, rest your weight on your arms and get ready to move.
4 – While resting on your uninjured foot, put both tips of the crutches one step ahead of you.
5 – Support yourself by letting your forearms and the crutches hold your bodyweight. Now, push off your uninjured foot to swing your body forward to meet the crutch tips that are one step ahead of you. After you swing your body forward, bring your injured foot forward.
This step is where a proper fit becomes necessary. The forearm crutch cuff should be aligned with the thickest part of your forearm so you can feel secure resting your full weight on your forearms and the crutches. Always keep your injured foot lifted while making the movements in this step.
With practice, you’ll develop your own way of maneuvering with lofstrand crutches. Your forearms will get stronger over time, and you’ll be able to move long distances with ease. Keep practicing!
This Is How You Use Underarm Crutches
1 – Just like with forearm crutches, the first step is to have someone help you adjust the underarm crutches to your body.
Again, wear the shoes you would normally wear and stand straight to make sure you get a proper fit.
Start measuring about an inch or two below your armpit and continue to measure until about two inches in front of your toes. The measurement you get is how long the underarm crutches should be.
2 – The second step is to adjust the underarm crutch handgrips. Bend your elbows at about a 15-degree angle, and the handgrips should align with where your hands hang. You should be able safely to rest your full body weight on the handgrips while in this position.
If you feel the underarm crutches jamming into your armpits or shoulders, it’s a sign you need to adjust your form. You shouldn’t feel any pain when you take a step. You may also need to adjust the size of the crutches.
3 – Now that you have the crutches adjusted, stand on your uninjured foot and place the crutches one step ahead of you.
4 – Now, lean forward and rest your body weight on your hands and the handgrips. Once you establish your balance, swing your body and legs forward to complete the motion.
If you’re having trouble learning how to use crutches, check out YouTube for a visual aid. We have included a couple videos below that you can use to get yourself on track.
You can also check out some different types of crutches here.
Good luck with your recovery!